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Lincoln Center Theater, Paul Kolnik, Associated Press
FILE - In this theater publicity image released by Lincoln Center Theater, a scene is shown from the production of "War Horse," performing at the Lincoln Center Theater in New York. Best-selling author Michael Morpurgo, who wrote the book the Tony Award-winning play is based on, was part of more than a dozen actors watching the auctioning-off of the horse Joey at the top of the show. The author, who made a similar appearance in the London production of "War Horse" and is an extra in Steven Spielberg's movie version, didn't speak any dialogue and didn't appear again until the curtain call a few hours later.

NEW YORK — Audiences at Wednesday's matinee of "War Horse" likely never noticed a very special actor quietly making his Lincoln Center stage debut.

Best-selling author Michael Morpurgo, who wrote the book the Tony Award-winning play is based on, joined a crowd scene at the auctioning of the horse Joey at the top of the show.

The author, who made a similar appearance in the London production of "War Horse" and is an extra in Steven Spielberg's new movie version, didn't speak and didn't appear again until the curtain call a few hours later.

Said the 68-year-old writer with a smile backstage: "They hide me away."

Morpurgo's New York acting debut was perhaps more meaningful than the others: His father twice appeared at Lincoln Center in the 1960s.